Thanks to the hard work of our construction and animal care teams—and to donations from our supporters—residents at the Animal Park at the Conservators Center have it made in the shade. In this last week of our 2023 Summer Fundraiser, we’re asking for donations to purchase lumber so we can continue to build, maintain, and replace structures that keep our animals cool in summer and comfortable in all sorts of weather.
“Lumber allows us to create not only shade but also enrichment for our animals,” says Construction and Maintenance Manager Nick Shingler. The ability to climb or leap and then perch on top of a den box or on an elevated platform provides an animal a new vantage point on their surroundings.
For example, our three young tigers have an A-frame structure in their habitat that casts shade underneath. The tigers lounge there when they need to get out of the sun, but it’s also not uncommon for visitors to spot one of the cats draped across the top of the structure, two legs dangling on each side, to keep an eye on tour groups passing by.
Regular maintenance and replacement of these structures is important, says Nick … and costly. “Wooden platforms typically only last a year or two,” he says. “Even the smallest den box runs $200 to $250 in lumber costs. A larger one—sized for a lion or a tiger, for example—costs $500 to $750. A typical platform is $80 to $100.”
We rely on the generosity of our supporters to provide upgrades like these to each of our animals’ habitats. To make donation toward our Summer Fundraiser for the animals, or to donate lumber or another item from our wish lists, click here.